Hearing on rapist’s detention delayed

A hearing to decide whether sex predator Mitch Gaff will be allowed to continue to participate in a program designed to ease him back into the community has been rescheduled for June 20.

Gaff, 49, was to have been the focus of a Snohomish County Superior Court hearing today.

The admitted serial rapist from Everett was caught recently videotaping programs featuring sex and violence, including a movie focusing on torture.

Gaff made the tapes at a state-run home for sexually violent offenders in Seattle, where he began living in the fall.

The discovery prompted state officials on May 2 to return Gaff to the prisonlike Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

State attorneys general believe that is where Gaff should stay. His treatment providers, including the state Department of Social and Health Services, have suggested that Gaff continue to live at the Seattle home, under tight restrictions.

The delay for today’s hearing is necessary so Gaff’s attorney, public defender Christine Sanders, can review the 36 hours of videotapes found in Gaff’s room, assistant state attorney general Todd Bowers said Wednesday.

Among the tapes confiscated by state officials were lengthy recordings of infomercials for “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and an edited-for-cable version of the horror movie “Saw.”

The movie’s plot focuses on a man’s plan to force captives to torture themselves and kill in order to survive.

Snohomish County juries in 1995 and 2000 found Gaff to be a sexually violent predator who legally could be confined to receive treatment.

Gaff has admitted raping eight women and girls during the late 1970s and early 1980s and sexually attacking dozens more.

Reporter Scott North: 425-339-3431 or north@heraldnet.com.

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